168th Commencement: Watch Live
The much-awaited update to
New York Practice, the treatise that has been cited in thousands of reported decisions and has been called "the Bible" for litigation in New York State courts, was recently published by Thomson Reuters. To celebrate the release of the Sixth Edition, Albany Law School hosted a
CLE and book signing with the author, Professor Patrick M. Connors, on Wednesday, April 18.
Connors, Albany Law's Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor in New York Civil Practice, began working on
New York Practice over 25 years ago with his mentor and the Treatise's founding author, the late Professor David D. Siegel. We recently caught up with Professor Connors to discuss his work on the book, new material in the Sixth Edition, and what's next for him now that the first co-bylined installment of
New York Practice has been published.
When did you first become involved with the
New York Practice treatise?
As a student and research assistant of Professor Siegel's at St. John's University School of Law from 1986 through 1988, I worked with Professor Siegel in reviewing manuscripts to the supplements to
New York Practice and to the Second Edition of the book, which was published in 1991.
What's new in the Sixth Edition of New York Practice?
The Sixth Edition of
New York Practice includes several new sections that address significant procedural developments arising during the 21st century. They include:
The Sixth Edition of
New York Practice also includes hundreds of updated citations so lawyers and judges can easily find the most recent caselaw in a particular area. I spent a great deal of time researching citations to cases in the Fifth Edition so that I could find the most recent authority for a proposition, but retained older cases that played an important role in the development of the law in a particular area.
Finally, I included subheadings in many of the longer sections of the book to help organize the material and assist the reader in research.
How long have you been working on this update? What was that process like?
I began working on biannual supplements to the Treatise in the Fall of 2012.
New York Practice is truly a scene in motion, as there are always changes in New York's procedural law. Events are frequent, both major and minor, and there have been many developments since the publication of the Fifth Edition in 2011.
I began work on the Sixth Edition in 2016, and spent about 18 months working on the project. Professor Siegel had such a delightful writing style, and I wanted to retain that in the book where possible. My goal was to make sure the Sixth Edition was informative and current for practitioners and judges and also provided practical advice for resolving procedural problems. Finally, I tried to demonstrate that New York civil practice is not only important, but entertaining at times!
Now that the Sixth Edition is out, what will you be doing with all your extra free time?
The first supplement to the Treatise will be issued by July, so I am working on that now. As I said,
New York Practice never rests! Another critical aspect of writing effectively on civil procedure is access to the front lines, where the rubber meets the road and statutes and rules are interpreted and applied to resolve actual controversies. Following in Professor Siegel's footsteps, I frequently provide continuing legal education programs to lawyers at law firms and bar association functions, and to judges and court attorneys at programs offered by the Office of Court Administration. This spring and summer, I will be traveling to present CPLR updates in Rockland County, New York, and in Montreal, Canada, for the Federation of Bar Associations of the Fourth Judicial District. The interactions at such programs with judges, lawyers, and those who work in the court system help to provide invaluable ideas and perspective, which are reflected in the Treatise.